Can Non-State Governance 'Ratchet Up' Global Standards? Assessing Indirect and Evolutionary Potential
43 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 13 Mar 2016
Date Written: 2009
In the past decade and a half, interest in non-state market driven (NSMD) governance has grown so that it is now championed to cover virtually every major global problem including forest deterioration, fisheries depletion, mining destruction, tourism, industrial factory conditions in developing countries, e-waste, and climate change. Existing research has revealed a troubling puzzle: support has either been strongest among firms and within regions where regulations are relatively high or it has emerged in niche markets that, by definition, cannot generate global standards to which all production must adhere. What is evolutionary potential of NSMD to move beyond market separation to “ratchet up” global standards?
Answering this question requires that the next generation of research focus on three potentially more powerful indirect effects that current support for NSMD systems may trigger: support from less regulated firms as market uptake occurs; learning and norm generation of NSMD systems that may influence more authoritative domestic and intergovernmental policy arenas; and the impacts that standards in one sector may influence regulations in others, such as occurs between forestry and agriculture. We draw on cases from developing and developed countries to illustrates and assess our argument.
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